They say Smoketown got its name from the smoke-producing brick factories that crowded the neighborhood almost two hundred years ago.
But the neighborhood earns it name again and again, every year on Independence Day.
The Fourth in Smoketown means 3 main things: food, family, and fireworks. Under the roof of the pavilion at Shelby Park – not technically a part of Smoketown, but a nearby gathering place for many Smoketown residents – families and friends spent the first half of the drizzly afternoon eating expertly grilled barbecue, gooey macaroni and cheese, and still-warm peach cobbler. Luckily, the sky seemed changed its mind at just the right minute - the usual heat of the Kentucky summer tempered by the rain and bare feet in the park fountain - for an evening full of bright light and loud sound.
As the sun set, the sizzle of grill faded into the sizzle of sparklers; the crack of the croquet mallet into Roman Candles; the bass of the music into thunderous salutes and giant palms of sparkle.
As many of you know, Kertis Creative is based in Smoketown, and it’s important to us to know our neighbors and support them in any way we can.
For an upcoming video we’re making for the Smoketown Family Wellness Center - an organization to be housed in the old PCC that empowers families to raise children in a culture of health - we wanted to capture the celebratory spirit of the Smoketown neighborhood, and we knew there was no better day to do it than on July 4th.
For hours we set off enough fireworks to leave a taste in our mouths, as couples kissed and kiddos joined hands to run through the haze left behind, the smell of the smoke lingering long after the last firework burnt out.
Thank you to everyone from Smoketown (and beyond!) who let us spend the holiday with you and your families. We hope you enjoy this video and your beautiful portraits!
-Taylor, Emily, and the Kertis Creative team
For more information about the Smoketown Family Wellness Center, visit their Facebook page